Posted by Anthony - 29th March 2012
Expectations are always high when a new Madonna album is announced. She is known for being a leader and not a follower and is constantly evolving. MDNA is her 12th studio album and her first to be released by Interscope Records, having previously been with Warner Bros.
Her last album 4 years ago was Hard Candy which was essentially dance-pop. MDNA has moved on to mainly up tempo dance songs with hard bass and much electro synth. The album starts of in true banging fashion but gradually tails off and ends up with a couple of string backed ballads.
There are a number of producers involved with MDNA, among then being Alle and Benny Benassi and Madonna's old collaborator William Orbit. Add to this a large number of engineers and other technicians and it is clear to see that a lot of effort and money has been spent to ensure a polished result. The sound is certainly current but not exactly groundbreaking.
Madonna co-wrote and co-produced all the tracks on the album. The lyrics seem to be motivated by the failure of her last marriage to Guy Ritchie. In some cases the lyrics are very personal, explicit and revealing. The meaning is clear, for example on the 8th track I Don't Give A', which features Nicki Minaj. Madonna is analytical ('I tried to be a good girl, I tried to be your wife, Diminished myself, And I swallowed my light'), then angry ('Lawyers suck it up, I didn't have a pre-nup') but finally optimistic as in the song's chorus ('Im gonna be OK, I don't care what people say').
The best tracks are the William Orbit productions. Gang Bang is one, a driving track complete with dub-step bass and gangster sound effects. I'm A Sinner is a more straightforward pop song with a catchy melody.
The last 2 songs come as light relief after the earlier high energy thrashing because they are string laden ballads:
This album will undoubtably be a success and has already been well received by Madonna fans. Be warned: if you like Madonna's early work but are not impressed by electro dance music then this may not be for you. However if you liked Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005) and Hard Candy (2008) then you will want MDNA in your Madonna collection.